A KNIFE THAT LITERALLY PACKS A PUNCH!
Occasionally I stumble upon something that is so unique I can’t help but want to see what it’s all about. That’s what happened to me when I accidentally came across the IEW (Impact Edged Weapon) from TJA Use of Force Training, Inc. I spotted this knife on Tactical Life, but there wasn’t a whole lot of information about the knife or links to the company, so I began my search to track it down and find out what the IEW was all about. After finding the TJA website and reading their information about the IEW, I contacted Tom J. Archambault, owner of TJA and the designer of the IEW. I spent some time talking with Tom over the phone about his IEW and the intent and concept behind it.
Tom is a Master Use of Force Instructor with over 30 years of teaching and developing police use of force curriculums. He spent five years developing his patented IEW design. Unlike any other knife on the market, the IEW was designed first and foremost as an impact weapon. This is evident by the strike points located at either end of the device which allow for focused impact and concentrated energy transference to the target without penetration. The finger grooves located on the handle and the spine also attest to the fact that this is an impact weapon before anything else.
The IEW measures exactly 5” closed and 8 ¼” when opened. The 3 ¼” partially serrated blade has an auto-assist mechanism for smoother opening with either the flipper or the thumb-stud, though the positioning and level of the thumb stud makes the use of this particular opening mechanism impractical. The locking mechanism is a liner lock, which is sufficient for the intended purpose of this knife.
The blade is composed of 8Cr13MoV, which is a decent steel for an economical knife, comparable to AUS-8. The TJA website and literature for the IEW lists the blade steel as 440C for some reason. Perhaps 440C was the original specification for the blade. 440C is a slightly higher grade of steel than 8Cr13MoV, so I would recommend the IEW literature be amended to reflect the actual steel construction of the blade.
Update: After publishing this review, Tom informed me that 440C was in fact the original specifications for the blade; however, at the time of the first run, the factory did not have enough 440C to complete the order and had to drop it down to 8Cr13MoV. Tom also stated that future runs will be done in 440C as advertised.
The handle scales are constructed of G10 and carbon fiber, giving it a functional yet aesthetically appealing handle. An ambidextrous pocket clip that can be mounted on either side completes the loadout of this highly functional device. Each IEW is serial numbered so that law enforcement agencies who choose to use the IEW as a use-of-force device may issue them to their officers and track them like they would a baton or Taser.
Tom put a lot of thought into this design right down to the blade design. You will may have noticed that the blade does not lend itself to thrusting. According to Tom, the blade of the IEW was designed that way to help protect the user in court, where the perception of a jury can play a huge role in the outcome of a trial in the event that the blade was used in a lethal force encounter. When you are approaching things from a judicial standpoint, every little bit that can swing in the good guy’s favor is a plus.
TJA offers a one-day IEW Instructor certification and a two-day IEW Instructor-Trainer certification for law enforcement personnel, as well as a civilian end-user course. For those departments that may not be able to host a class or send personnel to a class, Tom also has an IEW Instructor Course Kit that can be used by currently certified police baton instructors to earn certification. The kit includes a serialized Impact Edged Weapon, Instructor Manual and registration form, Instructor Power Point on a USB drive, basic training materials and student exam, registered instructor written exam, policy sheet, and return envelope for registration materials.
Tom afforded me the opportunity to complete the certification process using the kit, and I must say that this program is very well done. The course takes you through IEW nomenclature, the use-of-force continuum, legalities, striking methods, and target areas. All TJA Use of Force Training, Inc. training courses are fully certified and recognized throughout the United States, and this course is no exception. The cost for the Instructor Kit is $195, or you can opt for a one-day, hands-on Instructor course for $325.
The IEW, in my opinion, is a well-designed, multi-functioning use-of-force device that has great potential as a law enforcement/civilian less-lethal tool. It is a great impact weapon and a decent knife for the money. It retails for $125, but TJA offers law enforcement pricing at $75.
The TJA Impact Edged Weapon can be purchased through the TJA Use of Force Training, Inc. website at the link provided here. If you would like more information, Tom Archambault is more than willing to talk with you about his product and/or his training courses. His contact information can be found here.
Thank you for reading. Stay prepared. Stay alert. Stay bladed.
Photo Credits: Chad McBroom